Brooklyn Nets: 3 takeaways from a tough loss against Portland

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets Caris LeVert. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

3. LeVert looked better, but he still has a ways to go.

With his coach standing behind him in support, Caris LeVert continued his recovery process. For his second striaght game, LeVert was named a starter. He also played more than 30 minutes for the second consecutive time.

LeVert flashed his crafty game around the basket that made him so special at the beginning of the season. On multiple occasions, LeVert showcased his nifty handle — full of all of its crab dribble goodness.

At the end of the second quarter, LeVert snaked his way to the cup twice in the span of 90 seconds. On both occasions, the Michigan product finished with jawdropping layups.

It’s plays like the clip above that remind you just how spectacular Caris can be. The third-year wing has a keen sense of timing and can use this to catch defenders off-guard.

However, we cannot live in a world of only superlatives. Although LeVert showed glimpses of promise, there was clear indication of rust in his game.

Still a below-average shooter, Portland loaded up its defense in the paint to stop Caris’ downhill game. This kind of stymied the third-year pro. Instead of looking for the kick out or resetting at the top of the key, LeVert would foolishly drive head-on into the teeth of the defense.

One play at the 10-minute mark in the third quarter stood out in particular; Caris launched a horrifying miss with the pressure of three defenders in his grill.

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The 24-year-old finished with a minus-13 on the night and a 4-for-11 shooting line. His spots of brilliance were certainly there, but the Nets have work to do while integrating him back into their lineup.